The 7 Most Popular Countertop Materials in the Philippines

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It’s where we prepare our meals and, at the same time, share stories with family and friends. It’s where we begin most of our days—be it with a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal. Hence, it is essential to have a well-designed kitchen that fits our family’s lifestyle.

However, during kitchen remodeling, most of us tend to focus on our kitchen layout, appliances, and cabinetry. We often overlook the most utilized fixture in this space, our countertop.

Frequently used, abused, and sometimes misused, our kitchen countertop takes a daily beating in a place prone to messy moments.

Meme about countertop materials
Whether you prefer natural stones, like granite and marble, or engineered quartz, each material has advantages and disadvantages.

Cut, slice, and dice. Name it, and your countertop will bear it.

Every day, it endures all sorts of spills and drips during meal preps. It weathers the extreme heat from hot pots and pans straight from the hob. And to top it off, it gets soaked and splashed when were doing our dishes.

Hence, we can’t stress enough how vital it is to own a reliable countertop for the most passionate home cooks and cleaners.

Apart from its everyday function, your countertop is an integral part of your interior. It makes a great focal point inside the kitchen. It can set the tone for the overall aesthetic of the room.

Whether you want a trendy industrial vibe or a cozy rustic farmhouse, your countertop can be a blank canvas for bringing life to your dream kitchen.

Now that we’ve established the importance of form and function, let’s explore the pros and cons of the most common countertop materials here in the Philippines:

Table of Contents

1. Granite

Average Price: Php 1,800 per sqm. to Php 5,500 per sqm.

One of the most popular countertop materials globally, granites were once only found inside high-end kitchens of the most luxurious homes. Today, it’s widely used by architects and interior designers, primarily for kitchen counters.

Natural and resin-free, granite countertops bring warmth and beauty inside the kitchen. It has a unique appearance that adds an exclusive touch to your kitchen’s design. No two slabs will ever look the same.

Apart from appearance, granite countertops are highly durable. It can even outlive your entire house itself. It resists heat, scratches, and sudden impact, making it an ideal countertop for most busy kitchens.

Baltic Brown granite counter in Davao City, Philippines
"Baltic Brown" is a highly durable and incredibly dense natural granite.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Curious to know how much will your counter cost?

2. Marble

Average Price: Php 8,000 per sqm.

Marble is elegance and sophistication combined. It’s the preferred finishing material of most high-end homes, five-star hotels, and exotic palaces.

Its shades of white, black, pink, red, brown, and green evoke pure luxury, while its contrasting veins add allure and refinement.

Its heat-resistant property makes it an ideal surface for baking and candy-making.

However, for all its elegant beauty, marble requires a little more care and maintenance to keep it looking new.

Marble countertops require regular sealing to protect them from staining. Moreover, you need to keep them away from acids, such as red wine and juice, to prevent etching. 

Marble countertop and island in Cebu City, Philippines
"Volakas White" is a timeless piece of beauty that exudes elegance and class

While every slab brings a unique charm, this natural stone can easily be chipped, scratched, and cracked when neglected.

However, this does not mean that marble countertops aren’t suitable for the kitchen. It only means you need to add a little more care to your counter.

Among all other countertop materials, marble is the most beautiful. If you love its look and think you can handle the extra upkeep required, you don’t have to think twice about having it in your kitchen.

Advantages

Disadvantages

The Parthenon without the marbles is like a smile with a tooth missing.

3. Quartz

Average Price: Php 5,000 per sqm. to Php 15,000 per sqm.

Engineered Quartz is a mixture of stone aggregates and industrial materials (like ceramic and glass) combined with polyester resin.

It is available in a broad range of designs, but the most common ones are:

  • Solid Colors
  • Monotones with Silver Flecks
  • Marble-like Slabs

As an artificial product, slabs of the same design will have a uniform appearance. It offers a consistency that is impossible to find in any granite or quartz.

However, their appearance, especially those that mimic marble, doesn’t have the visual depth of the natural stone. Often it looks fake and cheap, especially when poorly made.

White quartz countertop with subway tiles backsplash in Iloilo, Philippines
Quartz is known for its consistent appearance

Engineered quartz is an incredibly non-porous surface. Its surface is impenetrable by liquids, making it an ideal countertop material for household kitchens.

Like natural granite, quartz countertops are highly durable. They don’t chip, crack, or scratch easily, unless done intentionally. If you’ve always wanted a marble counter in your kitchen but are hesitant because of its upkeep, then you should consider getting marble-like quartz instead.

Unfortunately, due to its resin component, engineered quartz also has drawbacks.

First, quartz countertops will “yellow” when exposed to direct sunlight. As such, their applications are limited to indoor use only.

Second, it is susceptible to extreme heat. Thus, it would be best to never put hot pots and pans directly on a quartz counter. Always use a trivet or hot pad to avoid warping or scorching your quartz surface.

Overall, engineered quartz is an excellent countertop material if you’re looking for a highly-functional surface with an aesthetically-pleasing design.

Advantages

Disadvantages

4. Ceramic Tiles

Average Price: Php 500 per sqm. to 5,500 per sqm.

Ceramic Tiles aren’t just for floors. They are also a popular countertop material here in the Philippines, especially in vintage-inspired homes.

An affordable alternative to granite and quartz, ceramic tiles are available almost anywhere—from the biggest home improvement stores to smaller tile shops. You can even find some at your local hardware store.

It’s available in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so you can easily customize your project any way you like.

What’s great about it is that it’s easy to install. Unlike other countertop materials, you can D.I.Y. your ceramic tile counter with some basic tools and the help of Youtube. You don’t have to spend much on expensive tools and professional installers.

Moreover, it’s easier to replace than granite or quartz; because you just need to fix a tile or two, not a whole slab.

Ceramic Tile Countertop Material
You can D.I.Y. your ceramic tile counter with some basic tools and the help of Youtube.

But here’s the catch:

There are many downsides to using ceramic tiles. First, you need to deal with the gunk on your grout lines. Because, like it or not, you’ll need to scrub it frequently to keep it clean and hygienic.

Your ceramic tiles may not be porous, but your tile grouts are. And they’re prone to staining. Not only will you have problems with dirt and grime, but also with mold and mildew.

Well, of course, you don’t want these things in your meal prep area. Because, sooner or later, they’ll be a recipe for disaster.

As such, you must seal tile grouts regularly. Otherwise, they’ll be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Second, ceramic tiles create an uneven surface. Whether you use a 0.60 m. x 0.60 m. tile or a larger one, your countertop won’t be perfectly flat because of the grout space between each piece.

If you want a clean and hygienic kitchen, you need a smooth, flat countertop surface for your meal preps.

Lastly, they’re not as durable as stone countertops. A tile may crack or chip off easily when a sudden force hits it. And, it can be permanently damaged, especially if your contractor didn’t install it properly.

Although removing a broken tile and installing a new one is easy, getting a replacement is a little bit tricky. Of course, you need to buy the same one installed on your counter. And if the design is phased out, you have no choice but to buy the best possible match from your supplier.

While it is cheaper than other countertop materials, replacing a broken tile costs higher in the long run. And we’re not talking about just money; it’s also about spending your time and effort on something that requires constant replacement.

Here’s a rundown of the benefits and drawbacks of ceramic tile counters:

Ceramic Tile Sample
Ceramic tiles are a popular countertop material in the Philippines.

Advantages

Disadvantages

5. Stainless Steel

Average Price: Php 20,000 per sqm.

If you’re an avid home chef with some excellent skills, stainless steel may be the most suitable countertop material for you. Commonly used in restaurants and professional kitchens, the stainless steel countertop provides an industrial look and delivers high functionality wherever it goes.

It’s the best countertop material for your home if cleanliness and food safety is your topmost priority. Hence, you’ll find it not only in most restaurants but also in many hospitals and laboratories.

It’s the perfect surface against mold and microbes.

In addition, stainless steel is highly durable and easy to maintain.

Its surface is stain-resistant. You don’t need to seal it. You just need to wipe off the area to clean it.

Stainless Steel Countertop Material
Stainless steel countertop provides an industrial look and delivers high functionality.

What’s more, stainless steel is also heat-tolerant. You can put hot pots or pans directly on its surface without scorching it. Doing so, however, will conduct heat to your countertop’s surface. But don’t worry, it should cool down quickly.

And did you know that it’s also flexible and can be installed seamlessly? You can have a counter with an integrated sink and backsplash for a clean, hygienic, and water-tight surface.

However, stainless steel counters also have some disadvantages.

For one, it’s prone to scratches and dents. Though it’s smooth and shiny when newly installed, it will look dull quickly once you start using it. Never cut directly on your counter, and don’t slide around your cookware. Also, try not to use abrasive scrubs as they can damage the surface finish.

Over time, you should also expect to acquire some dents with continued use. Accidents happen regardless of how careful you are around your countertops. So you just have to be realistic about it.

Fingerprints and smudge marks will also be more noticeable. If you’re the type who wants everything neat and spotless all the time, getting stainless steel may not be a good idea. You’ll have to wipe off your countertop more than any other materials.

Furthermore, expect that it’ll be noisy. Your pots and pans will constantly bang on your counter as you prepare your meals. But it’s something that you can get used to.

Before getting one, we highly recommend making a trip to a nearby restaurant and asking if you could have a look at their stainless steel surface. This should give you an idea of its appearance after years of use, and then decide if you are okay with it.

Stainless Steel Sample
Stainless steel is the ideal choice if you're looking for an extremely hygienic countertop.

Advantages

Disadvantages

6. Solid Surface

Average Price: Php 5,200 per sqm. to Php 7,600 per sqm.

Made from acrylic or polyester resin, solid surface countertops are known for their seamless joints and numerous designs.

Popularly known under brand names like Corian, Staron, Wilsonart, and Solflex, solid surface countertops have a uniform appearance that often mimics the look of natural stone.

It’s a versatile countertop material that can be shaped in any form (thanks to thermoforming process), allowing the possibility of integrated sinks and continuous backsplashes.

Unlike natural stone, the solid surface is non-porous, making it a hygienic working surface. As such, it is widely used on many fast food and hospital counters here in the Philippines.

It is also easy to clean and maintain. Simply wipe up its surface after every use, and that’s it.

White solid surface countertop Philippines
You can use an integrated sink and a continuous backsplash with a solid surface counter.

However, due to its composition, there are several drawbacks to this countertop material.

First, it is susceptible to heat. It can warp or deform upon direct contact with superheated cookwares. It can also be scorched or stained by the bottom of your hot pots and pans.

Second, it is relatively soft. It isn’t as durable as granite or quartz. As such, it can be chipped or scratched easily.

Overall, it’s a good countertop choice over ceramic or porcelain tiles. However, if you are looking for a lifelong option, we recommend using granite or quartz instead.

Solid surface countertop material selection
Solid surface designs are produced by mixing mixing different ratios of pigments and mineral dust.

7. Sintered Stone

Average Price: Php 12,00 per sqm. to Php 18,000 per sqm.

Known under brand names such as Lapitec, Neolith, and Dekton, among others, Sintered Stones are a new countertop material that’s been gaining popularity in recent years.

They are made by “sintering,” a process by which stone aggregates, glass, porcelain, and other materials are mixed using extreme heat and pressure, similar to how rocks are formed but in a short amount of time.

Hence, sintered stones can withstand high temperatures without scorching or warping. You can place hot pots and pans directly on its surface without damaging your countertop.

Like engineered quartz and solid surface, sintered stones are available in solid colors and designs that resemble natural stones. In addition, some slabs appear similar to wood or even cement.

Similar to granite and marble, sintered stones are available in various surface finishes, be they polished, honed, or textured.

Depending on the brand, the designs are either printed onto the surface or imprinted through the body. The former offers more variety, but the latter provides a more “natural” look because its color and pattern run throughout the body and are visible along the edges.

As such, each slab of the same design shares a consistent appearance, unlike natural stones.

In terms of durability, it is incredibly scratch-resistant and weatherproof. Because it is UV-resistant, you can use it for outdoor applications, like wall cladding or pool decks. Furthermore, unlike engineered quartz, it doesn’t contain resin, so it won’t “yellow” under prolonged direct exposure to sunlight. 

Sintered stone countertops are easy to maintain. They are non-porous, making it impossible to stain their surface. As such, they are ideal for busy kitchens.

However, this countertop material comes with a hefty price tag. It’s also not for D.I.Y. enthusiasts as it requires the service of professionals for installation and repair.

Moreover, it is quite susceptible to sudden blows of heavy objects, which can result in chips and cracks. Once damaged, the affected area is more noticeable than in granite, marble, or quartz. Not only that, repairs can be quite a challenge, too.

Overall, the sintered stone is a promising new material. It seemingly has a lot of advantages over its counterparts. However, most available information about it comes from manufacturers, which can be a bit biased. So take everything with a grain of salt.

If you’re considering this material for your home, it’s best to do more research. Talk to people who actually have it. Or, you can ask your local supplier for some samples to see if it doesn’t really scratch or stain.

At the end of the day, if you’re in doubt, don’t buy it. You can always go with quartz or granite. After all, these two stones are tried-and-true countertop materials that have stood the test of time. 

Dark Gray Sintered Stone from Lapitec
Sintered stones are made using extreme heat and pressure, similar to how rocks are formed.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Conclusion

Choosing a countertop material may not be your priority when remodeling, but it sure is a gamechanger in the form and function of your kitchen.

Given the benefits and drawbacks of the most popular countertop materials in the country, we hope that we have helped you come up with an informed decision for your project. This comprehensive list aims to help buyers like you choose the most suitable countertop for your home based on your budget and lifestyle.

Remember: there’s no such thing as a perfect countertop material. You need to weigh which features matter to you most according to your needs, preferences, and budget.

Lastly, be sure you’re making the right decision because, like it or not, you’ll see it every day.

Ready to Upgrade Your Counter?

Visit Stone Depot today and check out our various granite, marble, and quartz selections for your kitchen countertop. Drop by anytime during office hours and get a free quote while you wait. Or better yet, you can use this online form for your convenience.

Our branches are located in:

We look forward to working with you soon. See you at our slab yard!

Miguel Aquino

Miguel Aquino

Miguel Aquino is the General Manager of Stone Depot, one of the Philippines' leading suppliers of granite, marble, and quartz. Since 2010, he has been in the stone industry, working for a similar company in Balintawak, Quezon City.

You can find him playing Magic: the Gathering at a hobby store every Friday night.

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